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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Taenioma perpusillum (J. Agardh) J. Agardh 1863: 1257.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Selected citations: Abbott 1999: 348, fig. 101A–E. De Toni 1900: 732; 1924: 358. Huisman 1993: 12; 2000: 153. Krishnamurthy & Varadarajan 1990: 107, figs 19–24. Kylin 1956: 435, fig. 347A. May 1965: 377. Millar & Kraft 1993: 49. Papenfuss 1944: 193, pls 23, 24; 1964a: 159, figs 1–10. Silva et al. 1996: 467. Stegenga et al. 1997: 493, pl. 202. Womersley & Shepley 1959: 205. Wynne 1996: 182.


Polysiphonia perpusilla J. Agardh 1847: 16.

Thallus (Fig. 3A) usually within mats or turfs with other algae, with prostrate ecorticate terete axes (Fig. 3C) 100–250 µm in diameter, attached by long unicellular rhizoids cut off from pericentral cells mostly 1–4 segments apart; erect branches (Fig. 3A, B) 2–4 mm high, indeterminate but bearing determinate laterals 0.5–1.5 mm long with flat blades 500–800 µm long and 80–120 µm broad, terminated by 3 long hairs. Epilithic or epiphytic on turf-forming algae. Structure. Prostrate axes (Fig. 3C) with 4 pericentral cells formed in opposite order with the dorsal cells producing erect branches and the lower cells producing rhizoids, polysiphonous segments L/D 0.5–1. Erect branches monopodial with exogenous branching of subapical cells, determinate branchlets (Fig. 3D) 5 cells broad including the lateral pericentral cells which cut off 2 flanking cells (interpreted as an upper second-order row of 2 cells and a single celled third-order row), apical hairs uniseriate, basally meristematic, cells 20–40 µm in diameter and L/D 20–50; axial and pericentral cells 10–15 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2, flanking cells 7–12 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, laterally elongate when young and becoming isodiametric. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, ribbon-like in larger cells.

Reproduction: (Gametophytes not observed in southern Australian material.) Gametophytes (Papenfuss 1964a) dioecious. Procarps produced on terete indeterminate axes, usually singly, with a pericentral (supporting) cell cutting off a 4-celled carpogonial branch and initials of 2 sterile groups. Carposporophyte branched, with a basal fusion cell and chains of ovoid carposporangia. Pericarp of erect filaments developed from vegetative cells around the supporting cell, each filament cell cutting off 2 outer pericentral cells, with the cystocarp urceolate and ostiolate. Spermatangia produced on both sides of determinate branchlets where the flanking cells form 4–5-celled chains, with the primary cells between the axile and marginal cells each cutting off several initials in short chains, which then cut off spermatangia.

Tetrasporangia in determinate branchlets (Fig. 3E), produced in 2 rows from the lateral pericentral cells, with small post-sporangial cover cells cut off on both surfaces; tetrasporangia subspherical, 30–40 µm in diameter.

Type from San Augustin, Mexico (Liebmann); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 43343.

Selected specimens: Strickland Bay, Rottnest I., W. Aust., on reef top (Woelkerling, 12.ii.1978; AD, A49300). Scott Bay, just W of Fowler Bay, S. Aust., reef pools (Womersley, 27.i.1951; AD, A14992). Pondalowie Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Woelkerling, 31.xii.1976; AD, A47877). Troubridge Point, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., lower eulittoral, shaded (Womersley, 7.ii.1969; AD, A33837-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 122). Lady Bay, Normanville, S. Aust., on Heterozostera in reef pools (Skinner, 4.iv.1977; AD, A47982).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: Widespread in tropical and subtropical oceans, extending into cool temperate regions.

In southern Australia, from the west coast of Western Australia (Huisman 1993, p. 12) eastwards to Normanville, S. Australia; Lord Howe I. (Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 49).

Taxonomic notes: Taenioma perpusillum usually occurs as a mat on rock just above or below low tide level. It is easily overlooked and is probably more widespread than the above records indicate.


ABBOTT, I.A. (1999). Marine Red Algae of the Hawaiian Islands. (Bishop Museum Press: Honolulu, Hawai'i.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1847). Nya alger från Mexico. Öfrers. K. VetenskAkad. Förh. 4(1), 4–17.

AGARDH, J.G. (1863). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 787–1291. (Gleerup: Lund.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2. pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1924). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 6. Florideae. (Padua.)

HUISMAN, J.M. (1993). Supplement to the catalogue of marine plants recorded from Rottnest Island. In Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., Kirkman, H. & Lethbridge, R. (Eds). The marine flora and fauna of Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Proc. Fifth Int. Mar. Biol. Workshop, pp. 11–18. (W. Aust. Museum: Perth.)

HUISMAN, J.M. (2000). Marine Plants of Australia. (Univ. W. Aust. Press, Nedlands, W. Aust. & ABRS, Canberra, A.C.T.)

KRISHNAMURTHY, V. & VARADARAJAN, K. (1990). Studies on some Indian Delesseriaceae. Seaweed Res. & Util. 12, 101–114.

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S. W. Natl Herb. 3, 349–429.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1944). Structure and taxonomy of Taenioma, including a discussion on the phylogeny of the Ceramiales. Madrono 7(7), 193–214.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1964a). The development of the sexual organs and the cystocarp in Taenioma perpusillum. J. Indian bot. Soc. 42A (Masheshwari Comm. Vol.), 159–166.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (Univ. California Press: Berkeley.)

STEGENGA, H., BOLTON, J.J. & ANDERSON, R.J. (1997). Seaweeds of the South African West Coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium, No. 18.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. & SHEPLEY, E.A. (1959). Studies on the Sarcomenia group of the Rhodophyta. Aust. J. Bot. 7, 168–223.

WYNNE, M.J. (1996). A revised key to genera of the red algal family Delesseriaceae. Nova Hedwigia 112, 171–190.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID complete list of references.

Author: H. B. S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIG. 3.

Figure 3 image

Figure 3   enlarge

Fig. 3. Taenioma perpusillum (AD, A33837). A. Thallus with prostrate axis attached by rhizoids and bearing erect branches. B. An erect branch with determinate branchlets each with 3 terminal hairs. C. Prostrate terete axis with rhizoids and erect branches. D. Determinate branchlets with hairs. E. Part of a determinate branchlet with immature tetrasporangia.

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